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Hot And Cold Running Water



Those of you who know England will also know that somtimes, just sometimes, the rain goes away to ome back another day, leaving us with a few days of glorious weather. Like today, a warm balmy day, and with all my chores done it was time to seek a quiet corner of the local park and relax in quiet solitude, away from the noisy daytime activity of my home town.


It isn't all that quiet if I were honest. An ocaisional gravelly rasp of a light aeroplane overhead, the distant subdued roar of a transatlantic airliner, the insistent clangs of the town hall bell, on the hour, every hour, and the incredible range of bird noises from the trees and lake.


The squirrels weren't so keen to be idle. I saw a few bouncing around the earthy woodland trail. As I sat, one headed toward me, almost oblivious to my presence. It knew I was there, and stopped for a moment when I shifted my position, but otherwise I was just another human lowering the tone of the neighbourhood. It's unusual for a squirrel to be so tolerant of people. Most are quite nervous. For this squirrel, it was another day, another nut to carry away.


Damp Squibs

Those of you who know England will also know that sunny days soon change to weeks of dull rainy weather. A week ago it was exactly that. The worst wet weather coincided exactly with a job interview. This was an unusual interview for me, the first time I'd attended a three hour assessment session with al sorts of things going on. I even gave a fifteen minute presentation on Roman history. The assembled junior management were either bored by the lack of graphs showing a year on year increase in imperial profit, or perhaps stunned by my Roman revelations. Maybe a prior presentation had already melted their brain? Perhaps managers have no comprehension of presentations? Who knows?


On the way home I came across a length of road with a lot of standing water. I had to stand back and wait as motorists ploughed past with big sprays that threatened to drench me. At last there was a gap in the traffic, and I thought I might have enough time to clear the danger area before that lorry arrived, the one just turning the corner a way back down the road. Sometimes you just know that the driver is going to do something. It isn't an inner voice, or any visual recognition of body language, just that strange spidey sense I really ought to have taken notice of.


Of course I didn't. You might be experiencing a similar sensation right now, reading this. As I tramped along the wet pavement I heard the sloshing sound coming up behind me. Fearing the worst I glanced behind... Splash!... A tall wave of water caught me from head to foot. Right in the face too. Of course the lorry drove on, either oblivious to his transgression of the Highway Code, or perhaps gloating over his handiwork. Sir. I salute you. One finger only.


Sunset of the Week

As the sun descended behind the the cinema building now occupying my view of the landscape from my back window, the high altitude cloud was lit bright. I suddenly noticed a stunning resemblance of a map of Britain composed of whispy clouds. Where Ireland ought to have been was a broad rainbow, formed by the sunlight refracting in ice crystals tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. The conicidential map of Britain soon distorted and was lost in the gentle migration of the clouds, but for a moment, it was really stunning to see.

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See, in England, you have to use a two finger salute, not one, as evidence the Mr. Bean movie.... a single finger lacks meaning in British culture, and may actually be taken as a compliment. The welsh or french archers in the middle ages first used it, to piss off some knights, apparently showing them what had just recently been in the knight's wife or something of the likes. Or its because it took two fingers to pull a longbow. I dont know, competing theories, could be anything.


In America, we give our salutes only with the middle, because during the Revolutionary war, our trigger fingers were too sore from constantly shooting the British, after a while, its just too hard to extend it after a long and bloody day, so we just gave the middle instead.


Everything I said is true, that's history, and that's a fact.

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